Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Nov 02, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Registration of Home Chefs under FSSAI

As we have seen COVID-19 induced lockdown has destroyed many small businesses and entrepreneurs, it did benefit a few- like the home-chefs, who started the sale of homemade biriyanis, parathas, cakes, pastries, cookies, to name a few, through social media and tie up with other food delivery networks.

But do the same rules of registration, safety & standards that are applicable to restaurants also apply to these home-chefs? We will see now.

It is necessary that such home-chefs register themselves with the concerned authority. The Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations being implemented since 2011 clearly lay down the rules.  The Food Safety & Standards Act of 2006 governs all these regulations & guidelines.

According to these regulations, ‘petty food manufacturers should register themselves with the relevant registering authority online as notified by the State Food Safety Commissioner. The petty food manufacturer has been defined in the rules as someone who ‘manufactures or sells any article of food himself or a petty retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor or temporary stall holder; or distributes foods including in any religious or social gathering except a caterer’ or ‘such other food businesses including small scale or cottage or such other industries relating to food business or tiny food businesses with an annual turnover not exceeding ? 12 lakhs with prescribed production capacity’.


In other words, those with a turnover below ? 12 lakh need to get registered mandatorily while those above the turnover threshold also need to get a license.

What Rules say about Registration?

The rules clearly mean that  individuals who cook and sell food from home including home-bakers selling cakes should be registered with concerned authority by submitting the requisite ‘Form A’ after filling out details such as kind of business, location, food item and quantity, turnover, water and power source, etc. along with a registration fee. The person in the business of selling food is defined as a ‘Food Business Operator (FBO)’.

If any person is found to be carrying on the food without a registration or a license, they will be liable for penalty of up to ? 2 lakh as laid down in the FSS act 2006. These rules are applicable throughout the country from 2011.

Mandatory requirements of FBOs:

It is mandatory that the FBO follow the basic hygiene and safety requirements. The following are some of the important requirements to be fulfilled by FBOs.

Non-compliance with regulation can attract fine of up to ?10 Lakh and life-term imprisonment based on gravity of issue

What about E-Commerce FBOs?

With the advent of e-commerce, the food business has become one of the major e-commerce verticals. With this in mind, the government formulated relevant guidelines for e-commerce FBOs in 2018.

E-Commerce FBOs are those involved in online food business, be it manufacturing/ processing/ packaging/ storage/ transportation/ distribution/import of food and food services, including the food delivery applications. These FBOs should get central license from the central licensing authority, as per an amendment made to the regulations in 2018. This was done as online food delivery started gaining popularity.

Current Affair 2:
People of Indus Valley produced earliest dairy products in the Subcontinent

Source Link

You will remember here the place in Kutch: Kotada Bhadli

Recently, a study by Indian and Canadian archaeologists has found that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE. The finding reveals the earliest evidence of dairy production.

Dairy was being produced in the area as far back as 2500 Before Common Era, according to a study done by Kalyan Sekhar Chakraborty, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto Mississauga in Canada.

He studied 59 shards of pottery from the Kotada Bhadli Indus Valley site in Kutch, Gujarat, according to a statement by the University.

Pottery is porous and absorbs some of the food cooked inside it. Chakraborty looked for lipids because they don’t dissolve in water.

Chakraborty used a technique called the ‘stable isotope analysis’ to identify residues that might have seeped into the shards.

He and his colleagues dissolved the residues using an organic solvent and identify the lipids.

They also were able to identify that the dairy residues came from cows and water buffalo that ate a diet primarily of millet, rather than goats and sheep that fed on grasses.


Current Affair 3:
Gig Workers, Platform Workers, Unorganized Worker

In this topic, we will learn about all mentioned three categories and other important provisions of: The Code on Social Security 2020.

If you remember, The Parliament recently passed three major bills related to labour laws.

They are:

  1. Industrial Relations Code Bill 2020.
  2. Social Security Code Bill, 2020.
  3. Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020.

All three codes brought major changes. But today as we are taking about Gig Workers, Platform Workers, and Unorganized, we will discuss one of the three codes which is related to it. The code is: The Code on Social Security 2020.

The Code on Social Security 2020 was one of the three labour law bills passed by the Parliament in September 2020.

In this part, we will discuss the Code on Social Security 2020, and the major changes brought by it.

The Code on Social Security, 2020 consolidates nine different central laws:

  1. The Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
  2. The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948
  3. The Maternity Benefit Act,1961
  4. The Building and other Construction Workers Cess Act
  5. The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972
  6. The Employees Exchange (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959
  7. The Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
  8. The Unorganized Workers' Social Security Act, 2008
  9. Employees Compensation Act, 1923
  10. The Code repeals the above enactments.

The Code repeals the above enactments.

A striking feature of this code is: Gig workers, Platform workers, unorganized workers made eligible for welfare measures

No, we will define all three:

The Code defines "gig worker" as a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of traditional employer-employee relationship (Section 2(35). This will cover those who work as delivery persons for online food delivery platforms, e-commerce sites etc.

'Platform worker' is a person who has a work arrangement outside of a traditional employer-employee relationship in which organisations or individuals use an online platform to access other organisations or individuals to solve specific problems or to provide specific services or any such other activities which may be notified by the Central Government, in exchange for payment(Section 2(60)).

"Unorganised worker" means a home-based worker, self-employed worker or a wage worker in the Unorganised sector and includes a worker in the organised sector who is not covered by the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 or Chapters III to VII of the Code(Section 2(86)).

The Code mandates that the Central Government should frame a scheme for the welfare of these classes of employees in relation to (i) life and disability cover; (ii) health and maternity benefits; (iii) old age protection; (iv) education; and (v) any other benefit as may be determined by the Central Government.

Also, the State Governments are mandated to frame scheme for these employees in relation to (i) provident fund; (ii) employment injury benefit; (iii) housing; (iv) educational schemes for children; (v) skill upgradation of workers; (vi) funeral assistance; and (vii) old age homes

Every Unorganised worker, gig worker or platform worker shall be required to be registered under the Code provided that the person has completed 16 years of age. Aadhaar number is mandatory for such registration.

Role of aggregators:

The Code states that schemes for gig workers and platform workers may be funded through a combination of contributions from the central government, state governments, and aggregators, who are listed in Schedule 7. The Schedule lists nine categories including ride-sharing services, food and grocery delivery services, content and media services, and e-marketplaces.


Definition of 'inter-state migrant worker' expanded to include self-employed persons:

Apart from a migrant worker recruited through a contractor, the definition of 'inter-state migrant worker' includes a person who has come on his own from one State and obtained employment in an establishment of another state.

EPF applicable to all establishments with 20 or more employees:

The Code makes Employees Provident Fund Scheme applicable to all establishments having 20 or more employees. Under the EPF Act, only those establishments ‘listed’ in the schedule having 20 or more employees were brought under the EPF scheme.

Employees State Insurance


ESI is applicable to every establishment in which ten or more persons are employed other than a seasonal factory. Gig workers, unorganized sectors and plantation workers are also brought under the purview of ESI.

Application of Aadhaar:

Aadhaar number is made mandatory for availing benefits and services under the Code.

Power to defer application of the Code in the event of disaster, pandemic:

The Code empowers the Central Government to defer the application of the provisions of the Code for a period of three months in the event of a national disaster, pandemic or endemic.

Power to exempt:

The Code empowers the appropriate government to exempt any industrial establishment or class of industrial establishments from the provisions of the Code.

Current Affair 4:
32 Variations found unique

Source Link

Thirty-two per cent of genetic variations in Indian genome sequences are unique as compared to global genomes, research by Indian scientists has suggested.

  1. Results from the extensive computation analysis of 1,029 sequenced genomes from India were published earlier this week in the journal Nucleic Acid Research, according to a press statement.
  2. The research had been carried out by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.
  3. A genetic variant or variation is used to refer to a specific region of the genome which differs from another genome.
  4. The research was carried out as part of the IndiGen Program of CSIR. The programme was started in April 2019 in order to fill the gap of whole genome sequences from different populations in the country.
  5. This was because India had been under-represented in global genome studies despite encompassing 17 per cent of the world population. The population architecture of India has also resulted in a high prevalence of recessive alleles.
  6. The whole genome sequencing of 1,029 self-declared healthy Indians drawn from across the country has been completed under the IndiGen Program. This has enabled benchmarking the scalability of genome sequencing at population scale in a defined timeline.
  7. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology as well as Health and Family Welfare, had announced the completion of the IndiGen sequence generation efforts on October 25, 2019.


The data collected under the IndiGen Program could provide useful insights for clinicians and researchers in comprehending genetics at the population and the individual level.

It could also enable the identification of genetic markers for variations causing genetic diseases.

Current Affair 5:
National Cybercrime Reporting Portal

Source Link

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to all States to examine and register First Information Reports (FIRs) based on the complaints received on National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.

Why it said:

Low Conversion Rates: As per Ministry of Home Affairs, only 2.5% of total complaints registered on the portal are converted into FIRs.

Cyber Crime Volunteers: Through the portal, the Government seeks to promote Cyber Crime Volunteers for identifying, reporting and removal of illegal/unlawful online content.

Increase in Cases: According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of registered cybercrimes increased by 63.5% in the year 2019 compared to 2018.

What is unlawful content?

It is categorized as content against the sovereignty and integrity of India, against defence of India, against security of the state, against friendly relations with foreign states, content aimed at disturbing public order, disturbing communal harmony and child sex abuse material.

About Portal:

The Cybercrime reporting portal is an initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India under National Mission for the safety of women to facilitate victims/complainants to report cybercrime complaints online.

Other Steps taken by the Government to spread awareness about cybercrimes:

  1. A scheme for establishment of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has been established to handle issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  2. Establishment of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.
  3. All organizations providing digital services have been mandated to report cyber security incidents to CERT-In
  4. Formulation of Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber-attacks and cyber terrorism
  5. Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for providing detection of malicious programmes and free tools to remove such programmes.
  6. Formulation of Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber-attacks and cyber terrorism.

Budapest Convention:

The Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe, known as the Budapest Convention, is the binding international instrument that serves as a guideline for any country developing comprehensive national legislation against Cybercrime and as a framework for international cooperation between State Parties to this treaty.

The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception.

Its main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation.

India has neither signed nor ratified the Convention.

Now, Russian led resolution:

Russia has framed the treaty as an alternative to the Budapest Convention.

The Russian proposal entitled “Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes” was recently put forth in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The Russian proposal calls for creation of a committee that will convene in August 2020 in New York in order to establish a new treaty through which nation-states can coordinate and share data to prevent cybercrime.

This draft Convention goes far beyond what the Budapest Convention allows for regarding cross-border access to data, including limiting the ability of a signatory to refuse to provide access to requested data.

If this resolution will be passed by the UNGA, it will become the second international convention on cybercrime.

<< Previous Next >>

Send To My Bookmarks